Hops for Hooves raises funds for animal sanctuary – Reading Eagle


Marsh seemed calm and comfortable as he walked around Willow Glen Park on Saturday.

The statuesque horse, white with brown patches, swayed his head as he was led through the crowd by a rope. He stood still to welcome pats from those passing by.

The fact that he was able to be there is a bit miraculous. But it also explains exactly why the Hops for Hooves event is so important.

The annual fundraiser benefits Grey Muzzle Manor, a sanctuary for elderly and infirmed animals that also offers several community outreach programs focused on discovering the positive effects of animal interaction on the health of people.

Much of the money raised from last year’s benefit went to Marsh. It helped pay to remove a cancer-ridden eyelid, and to provide him with three rounds of chemotherapy.

The effort paid off. Marsh is doing well today, healthy and happy.

Lindsey Lendo of Muhlenberg Township, a volunteer with Grey Muzzle Manor, and Marsh the horse are all smiles during the 5th annual Hops for Hooves Fundraising event on at Willow Glen Park in Spring Township, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. Marsh lost his right eye to cancer, the operation was paid for with funds from previous benefits. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Lindsey Lendo of Muhlenberg Township, a volunteer with Grey Muzzle Manor, plus Marsh are all smiles during the fifth annual Hops for Hooves event at Willow Glen Park in Sinking Spring on Saturday. Marsh lost his right eye to cancer, and the medical treatment was paid for with money from previous benefits. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

And Marcy Tocker, the founder and executive director Grey Muzzle Manor, hoped that this year’s event would provide the same kind of support for other animals in need of help like Marsh.

The fundraiser featured beer and wine from more than 25 different Pennsylvania businesses. There were also food trucks, vendors and musical entertainment in addition to appearances by animals through Grey Muzzle Manor.

“We’ve been holding this fundraiser for five years now and it just keeps growing, ” Tocker said.

And as the support from the community continues to grow, so has the sanctuary.

Tocker, who is a mental health professional, said the organization was able to expand its services when it moved two years ago from a 4-acre farm near Fleetwood to a more spacious 45-acre estate in Mohrsville.

“It is so exciting to see all these people come out to support what we do, ” she said.

Grey Muzzle Manor is an organization near and dear to Dave and Bree Kantner. The Temple couple, who came to indulge in craft brews for a good cause, stated they are strong supporters of the programs and services that the nonprofit offers.

“They take care of our senior animals when no one else will, ” Bree Kantner said. “They let these animals live out the rest of their lives in comfort and peace. They also focus on providing mental health services, which is something that I think is very important. ”

As the owner of a pet grooming business, Bree Kantner said she has been familiar with the organization since it arrived on the scene and wouldn’t miss an opportunity to support its efforts.

Her husband mentioned he loves the idea of spending an afternoon sampling the latest concoctions from local craft breweries knowing that his money is going to a group that is as passionate about animals as he is.

Jason Sweitzer liked that idea as well. He had found the Hops with regard to Hooves event on Facebook but was unfamiliar with Grey Muzzle Manor so he did a little research about what the organization does. And that was what sealed the deal for your pet.

Sweitzer said he was happy to support the cause while celebrating his 42nd birthday with friends.

“It’s the win-win all around, ” the particular Fleetwood resident said.

Left to right: Jason Sweitzer and Desiree Levan of Fleetwood and Heather and Jarad Grim of Oley attend the 5th annual Hops for Hooves Fundraising event at Willow Glen Park, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Jason Sweitzer and Desiree Levan of Fleetwood, left, plus Heather and Jarad Grim of Oley attend the 5th annual Hops for Hooves event at Willow Glen Park on Saturday. Sweitzer was celebrating a birthday with and said he couldn’t think of a better way to do it. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Fred plus Lisa Lego also found the event through Facebook. The Cambria County couple were looking for something they could do while visiting their son and grandchildren in Reading when it popped up.

“I didn’t really know anything about it but it seemed like a good time, ” Lisa Lego stated. “This is a great event for the community and now that I know more about what this organization does I’m that we could assistance it. ”

All proceeds from the event Saturday will help fund:

• Pet rescue and hospice. This program gives senior and special needs animals a safe space to live their best lives, no matter how short that may be.

• Animal-assisted therapy. Tocker practices psychotherapy using animals to help those struggling with trauma, impulse control, anxiety, depression, stress and more.

• Community outreach. A program that assists families when possible to keep senior animals out of the shelter system by helping with veterinary care, training, food and other pet supplies.

• SAFER, which provides long-term foster care on a case-by-case basis for individuals seeking safety from domestic violence, substance abuse and psychological health treatment.

• Stable Moments. This mentorship program utilizes equine-assisted learning for children in the foster care system to assist them develop various life skills.

• A New Dawn. A horse riding program that helps treat patients with neurological or some other disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders plus psychiatric disorders.

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